I just returned from a most remarkable walk. It wasn’t the distance or speed that made it remarkable. Instead, it was how I felt.
We are in the midst of a unique opportunity…one that is only available for a short time. It’s an opportunity to start walking for fitness or increase what you are already doing. It’s a brief season where you can set the foundation to keep moving forward after this opportunity is over.
And, it will be over soon.
I left my house this morning wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I walked for more than an hour. When I returned home I felt the same as I left. This feeling, by the way, is all about the weather.
We are in this really enjoyable season where the weather, and let’s get specific…the temperature…is not too extreme. In most parts so the country, the weather is actually inviting us outside.
So…let’s accept the invitation
January 1 is a terrible time to pursue a new fitness goal. At almost every turn, the weather is working against us. Even walking on a treadmill at a gym is challenging because you still have to go outside to get in the car. And, yes, you’re not the only one who’s skipped a workout because you couldn’t bear the thought of what was on the other side of the front door.
But, now you have a window of a few weeks, or longer, where what’s on the other side of the front door is more appealing than staying inside. Take advantage of that! Make a commitment to go for a ten-minute walk every day for a month. The podcast Walking is Fitness could also be a huge help because it’s a daily ten minute walk together providing a little extra motivation.
After 30 days you might have enough momentum to keep going even when the temperature starts to get uncomfortable. Of course, you always have the option of walking earlier or later in the day when it’s cooler.
If you’ve already got a growing fitness chain, this is your opportunity to stretch it out a bit. While the weather is not working against you, why not walk farther than usual, or faster. You can increase your fitness capacity before the temperatures start conspiring to slow you down.
I felt that last summer…our first in the South Carolina heat and humidity. I was ready to be done by mid-August. This year, I know what’s coming so I’m using these next few weeks as an opportunity to build my endurance even more. You can too!
If you already listen to Walking is Fitness, why not make a commitment to walk farther by adding an extra ten-minute episode to your walk for the next 30 days. You could also make a commitment to walk a little faster. Take one ten minute episode every day to intentionally increase your pace.
As always…any time you’re increasing the intensity of physical activity it’s a wise idea to check with your doctor to make sure it’s a good idea for you. I’m not a doctor, and just because I suggest walking farther or faster, that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for every reader.
This opportunity will expire. In fact, in some parts of the country, it’s already too warm. But, for most of us we’ve got a brief window where we can walk outside for an hour and feel little difference between when we start and when we finish.
The fitness investment you make now will pay off later when the weather is no longer your friend.